The sound was deafening. The crunch, smash and explosions of the collision could be heard through out time and across space.
They still echo today. In our questions….
“If God is loving and full of grace- how can he allow anyone go to hell?”
“If God is just and we all sin…how can anyone o to heaven?”
Are these ideas incongruent? Is one statement a lie and the other true? It just doesn’t make sense.
In a world of mathematical “if, then” statements… can both statements be true? What would happen if they were?
I think they are- and I think that seeming conflict, that incongruency and nonsense…. caused a violent collision.
At the corner of justice and grace.
There was no squealing of tires.
There was no ambulance wail announcing his injuries or quietly driving away carrying his body to the morgue.
But there was a sound. One that had never been heard before or since. The sound of God taking on flesh- of justice colliding with grace and causing carnage to his body.
It was brutal. Bloody. Painful. Horrifying. Some wept. Some cheered. All were affected. Many still are. I am.
He was more than mangled. He was:
Left in a tomb. To rot.
Except, he didn’t.
He could have escaped.
Except, he didn’t.
He could have called down angels to save him….
Except, he didn’t.
The story didn’t end with carnage. Instead- Somehow- the brokeness, the abandonment the pain… transformed. On a Sunday morning 3 days later.
He rose. I don’t know how.
But in that moment- carnage and death and sin and pain were overcome. They became: Freedom. Peace. Love. Joy. Salvation. Forgiveness. Life.
I don’t know how.
I believe that the only way for grace and justice to both exist and both be true- was for them to collide. And become one. Transformed. Then risen.In him.
It wasn’t a collision at a crossroad…it was on a cross. The transformation happened in a tomb…. and over 2000 years later-it happened again, in my heart.
Today- I celebrate the sacrifice that Jesus made, not in a joyful party or in some sick relishing of his pain… but in thanks, for what it accomplished.
I don’t have all the answers. (The truth is I probably have more questions than answers.) But today- when reading the story of Good Friday and Easter Sunday….I heard the collision’s echoes. Did you?
Dear Lord- I have so many questions….the truth is it doesn’t make sense that you’d take on flesh live perfectly and then die innocently and that would be the final perfect sacrifice that would free us all from sin and pain and death…it doesn’t make sense that Christ would die and then rise again… it sounds like a fairytale. And yet- the sound of that collision still echoes. It echoes in the prophecies that were fulfilled. It echoes in the evidence and the stories…but most of all it echoes in my heart. Where once was just an empty tomb…. but now is life and joy. I love you Lord- and celebrate your sacrifice….thanks is not enough- but it is what I have to give. I love you Lord- amen
For my readers and friends-
Maybe you have questions. Maybe you don’t think this makes sense either. I get it. But today- and through this weekend- as so many celebrate not just the collision- but the fusion of grace and justice….I ask you to listen. Take a few minutes to read the prophecies about The Messiah, and see if and how they were fulfilled. Maybe read the whole story in the Gospel of John….see if it echoes in your heart…
There is so much more to Easter… than eggs and chocolate….;)
And for those who believe differently? Thank you for grace and patience as I express what I believe… ;)
Also- I have to thank Dan Pratt- one of pastors at our church– for speaking the simple words: Where grace and justice collide…. and inspiring this post…. some words just resonate when we take the risk to share them:)